First National Bank of Tampa

From: First Florida Banks, Inc. (Tampa, Fla.), Records, 1874-1992, Collection M99- 5

Director’s Meeting June 20, 1905

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First National Bank Of Tampa (page 1)


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Tampa, Florida, June 20th, 1905

Persuant to notice given, and with consent of all the Board, the Directors of the First National Bank of Tampa, met in the Directors Room of the bank on Tuesday June 20th, instant at twelve o'clock noon. Present were: T.C. Taliaferro, E.P. Taliaferro, and D.F. Conoley.

The President stated that as three of the Directors had notified him they would be absent from Florida and could not possibly attend the meeting if held on the regular date the second Tuesday in July, that he had thought it best to secure the consent of all the directory for this earlier meeting which had been done.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and ordered approved. The Cashier, submitted the Daily Balance Book of the bank, showing the earnings and expenses of the bank to date. He called attention to the fact that while the loans were larger than ever, that the net profits of the bank had not correspondingly increased in proportion because owing to active competition we had been forced not only to reduce our rate of discount to a six per cent basis on a good per cent of large loans but had also been forced to allow interest on some deposit accounts and to issue time certificates of deposit carrying interest, and in addition to that taxes were steadily increasing.

He said the loan to Mr. J.M. Watrous, was unchanged. That Mr. Watrous, continued to pay four per cent interest on the entire $6,450.00 of which $3,2235.00 had some time ago been charged off to Profit and Loss Account. He said he still believed the full amount would be paid to the bank in time.

He further stated that the firm of V. Martinez Ybor Sons Company, Cigar Manufacturers, owed us about $16,000.00, secured by tobacco, that the corporation got in bad shape financially, and we were forced to sell the tobacco at auction, that owing to the fact this tobacco had remained too long in the bonded warehouse it had depreciated in value, and that we stood to lose $1,215.83, and some interest accrewed on the old obligation, he said the chance for collecting any part of this sum were remote, and he regarded it lost, and recommended that it be charged to Profit and Loss Account.

The President submitted the following report:

Tampa, Florida June 20th, 1905,

Honorable Board of Directors, First National Bank of Tampa,


We have completed the sale of all of the West Tampa property, owned

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by this bank, receiving therefor $4,320.00, this with previous sales paid the $4,517.46 at which this property was carried on the books of the bank, and left to us for interest and profit the sums, previously reported, as standing to the credit of Special Accounts, "Drew Rent Account" and "Mobley Lots Account."

Proceeding under authority of your Honorable Board we have enlarged the quarters of the banking office and now occupy the entire ground floor of this building. We took down the brick partition wall, supported the floors above with large steel gurders, put in new marble floors, and new marble, mahogany, and metal counters with suitable partitions, built an addition to the steel vaults, erected a handsome metal ceiling, built and handsomely furnished several new private offices, and lavatories, added some fifty odd new safety boxes to vault, apinted the office and vaults inside and out. This work cost $10,221.24, and acting under consent of the Board, previously given, the amount was provided in the following manner. We credited Profit and Loss Account as follows:

From Drew Rent Account $3,140.93
From Ferris Rent Account 842.63
From Sale Mobley Lots 2,632.79
From Sale Old Safe Deposit 1,000.00
From Profit Sale Old Bank Building 2,500.00
From Profit Sale Old Lot near Bank 1,063.68 $11,180.03

We then charged this account with the cost of the above mentioned improvements 10,221.24

While the expense is considerable, and more than anticipated, the space was needed, and the work was done as cheaply as pssobile under the circumstances. The office presents a handsome appearance and will meet all business requirements for the next twenty years.

Since last report we have secured title to 160 acres of land belonging to the "Coe Estate" and worth, say, $500.00. We charged off to Profit and Loss Account, last January, $1,293.63 as a loss on the Coe transaction. When the sale now pending is consumated that loss will be materially reduced.

Under the order of the Honorable Secretary of the Treasury our Public Money Deposit was reduced $50,000.00. This released a like amount of United States two per cent bonds. Under your authority we sold $12,500.00 United States fours 1907 at the market and substituted therefor the $50,000.00 twos and increased our circulation from $12,500.00 to 50,000.00.

The Government made still another call on all depository banks but through the enrgentic and effective work of Mr. D.G. Ambler, and on the showing made by him

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of the need here for funds for the use of Disbursing Officers of the Government that order was rescinded, so far as affecting this bank.

The general business of the bank is reasonably satisfactory. Our competitors are now more numerous, and have large local boards of Directors who are active in seeking new business, and in trying to divert our customers by liberal offers. We try to be conservative, and in carrying out that police, in a number of instances, we have turned down what we regarded as unreasonable askings of borrowers who in turn have gone to those more liberal. On the whole however, despite the increase in the number of banks, and many combinations of interests more friendly to our competitors, this bank is in a highly prosperous conditions. We find it absolutely necessary in the conduct of the business to grant very liberal lines of discount to a number of our large wholesale dealers, and the Government writes the President a letter on the subject of "Ecessive Loans" regularly after the visit of each National Bank Examiner. We can only reply, that while our Capital Stock is but $50,000.00 our Surplus is seven times that amount, that no officer or shareholder is directly or indirectly in any of the firms or corporations, and that we regard the loans safe and desirable.

So far as we can tell our Bills Receivable are good, with no past due notes, and none known to be bad or thought to be doubtful.

There is a new bank being established in Ybor City under the direction of one of our competitors which will undoubtedly do considerable business as the Fourth Ward is large and prosperous, and the facilities offered by a bank located there will attract many, in addition a dozen or more of the Ybor City Merchants have taken stock in the institution. Just what amount of business this bank will take from us can not be stated. There is also a private bank in West Tampa. A new National Bank will open for business in St. Petersburg, on July 1st, proximo, making two National Banks there, and the inhabitants of Clearwater and vacinity, are clamoring for a bank there and say they will have one by the Fall. To sum up, there are six banks in Tampa, two in St. Petersburg, one in Plant City, and one being considered in Clearwater. Ten banks in Hillsborough County of-cours divides the business, reduces the deposits, rates of interests and profits. The increase in the number of banks in the adjoining Counties is also to be considered as we have in the past enjoyed a good and profitable business from them.

As a partial offset to this, Tampa is growing rapidly, as also is this section of Florida, real estate values are steadily increasing, dozens of brick and stone blocks highly creditable have been erected for business purposes and hundreds of modest but comfortable homes have been completed in the last year.

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First National Bank Of Tampa (page 1)

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There is fear on the part of the more conservative that values are too high, that home people are speculating too much on credit in land and buildings. It is true that this City is being largely built by home people and that outside capital rarely favors us.

The Government will soon spend here $450,000.00 in Hillsborough Bay Harbor Improvements and a still larger sum will be spent in deepening the waters of Tampa Bay. This work insures a depth of twenty feet of water to the docks of Tampa, and twenty six feet of water to the docks of Pt Tampa, and will enable our merchants to get goods much cheaper, and to seell almost exclsuively all of the South Florida Counties, which by the way are thought by some to be worth all of the balance of the State put together.

The City has just sold $440,000.00 fifty year 5% bonds at one hundred and three, and is advertising for bids for sewering, and eighteen miles of vitrified paving. The price bid for the bonds is an evidence of outside confidence in the stability of our City. The local banks bid one hundred and two for the issue.

The Manufacture of Cigars is also rapidly increasing and we will make this year about two hundred and twenty five million hand made Havana Cigars. Tampa is conceeded to be american Head-quarters for clear Havana Cigars, and it is a fact that we sell more Clear Havana Cigars in the United states than does the City of Havana, Key West, and New York combined. The reputation of the Tampa goods makes them easy to market and correspondingly difficult to place those manufactured elsewhere. It is the general opinion of the manufacturers that all houses in the clear Havana trade will be forced to come here. It is also claimed and believed that the cheap Havana Cigar is rapidly driving the domestic manufacturer out of the market.

The lumber and naval stores business is also largely increasing and both are highly prosperous. A great deal of Cypress goes through this port and Cuba and the windward Islands are taking pine lumber freely at attractive prices.

Owing to the cold of the past winter and the drought of the early summer fruit and vegetables crops were disappointing but on the whole the farmers are very prosperous, having profited by experience and diversified their crops. Attention is now being intelligently directed to the improvement of stock and with gratifying results. Phosphates are commanding good prices and all the plants are busy.

We are hopeful of securing another railroad giving us a direct route to the West. Such a road would give us about the same mileage to the great grain markets as Jacksonville now enjoys. The health of our people is good and the general outlook is encouraging.

Respectfully submitted,
T.C. Taliaferro, President.

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On motion the President's letter was ordered spread on the minutes of the bank.

The Cashier stated that nothing further has been done in connection with the extension of the Charter of this bank, that the Government had advised that a special examination would be made of the condition of the bank a few months before the expiration of its present charter, and if everything was found to be satisfactory, at that time, the charter would be extended for another twenty years.

Mr. E.P. Taliaferro, moved that when the books were closed on July first, next, that the amount found to be standing to the credit of "Profit and Loss Account" be disposed of as follows; That a Dividend of twenty five per cent on the Capital Stock be now declared payable July first nineteen hundred and five; that the loss of $1,215.83 on the V.M. Ybors Sons Company loans be charged to "Profit and Loss Account"; that the sum of $15,000.00 be transferred from Profit and Loss Account to Surplus Account: That the balance still remaining to the credit of Profit and Loss Account be transferred to the credit of Undivided Profit Account. This motion was duly seconded by D.F. Conoley and adopted.

The action of the President in making deeds to the West Tampa property was, on motion duly seconded, ordered approved.

Mr. E.P. Taliaferro, congratulated the officers of the bank on its handsome and complete home, and moved that their action in making these improvements, as recited in the letter of the President, be and is hereby approved. This motion was seconded and adopted.

On motion the President's action in selling the $12,500.00 United states four percent binds, 1907, was approved.

There being no further business on motion of Mr. E.P. Taliaferro, duly seconded the Directors Meeting adjourned.

[signed] D.F. Conoley, Secretary.

[signed] T.C. Taliaferro, President